Peacekeeping: August 25, 2005

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It may be a while before Iraqi troops show up on a UN sponsored peacekeeping mission. But when that does happen, the Iraqis will be well trained, and have lots of experience. Iraqi staff officers are receiving training in Civil Military Operations, including the vital planning efforts needed to do it successfully. 

Iraqi troops are increasingly moving into hostile Sunni Arab areas, and its important that they arrive as helpers, not conquerors. Many Sunni Arabs have not yet accepted the idea that they are no longer in charge, and need some serious peacekeeping efforts to change their minds. In the past, the Iraqi concept of peacekeeping was to come in with guns blazing, and suggest to the survivors that they cool it, or else. The peacekeeping problems the Iraqi troops are dealing with are as difficult as the worst they would encounter in other countries in need of help. The Iraqi staff officers have taken well to the American training. The Iraqis always had a flair for planning. In the past, it was safer for a bright young Iraqi to become a staff officer, than a commander. Saddam was always dismissing, or executing, commanders, whether they deserved it or not. Staff officers just kept on with their plans and paperwork. The effort was often wasted, as Saddam feared there were plans to remove him. Thus Saddam would suddenly order major military operations with little notice, or time for planning. Even the 1991 invasion of Kuwait was carried out that way. After the Iraqis were chased out of Kuwait, American intelligence experts, examining captured Iraqi headquarters, were surprised to find evidence of extensive planning capability. Now, that talent for planning is being given a chance to actually influence operations. Thus the enthusiasm of Iraqi staff officers. The Iraqi commanders are eager as well, for they have noted that much of the U.S. success in Iraq has come from the American ability to quickly develop plans, and then rapidly carry them out.

 


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